Washington Life Magazine
Washington Life Magazine
Real Estate News
by Susanna Monroney Luddy

"First the Senate, Now the House,” proclaimed the Washington Post when Hillary Clinton looked at Jenniferand Laughlin Phillips’ O Street mansion where Jackie Kennedy’s mother, Janet Auchincloss once lived. Asit turned out, that prediction, like other notable predictions of late, proved to be a bit premature. Though perhaps it’s justas well. Had the newly-elected Senator ended up at 3044 O Street, she would have been sandwiched between defeatedopponent Rick Lazio’s communication’s director, Dan McLagan who’s just down the block, and Republican mediaconsultant, Mike Murphy who lives right across the street. Not to mention that celebrity biographer, KittyKelley who lives to the rear of the house and could be prowling about the back alley, a mere whisper away at any giventime.

4821 Foxhall Crescent
4821 Foxhall Crescent

4821 Foxhall Crescent
4821 Foxhall Crescent

The Clintons also reportedly looked at the Georgetown home of antiques dealer John Dunnan located at 3265 NStreet and even put a contract on 4821 Foxhall Crescent in Foxhall. However, on Christmas Eve when Mrs. Clintonmight have been celebrating the purchase of the Foxhall home with her mother and two brothers at Tony Rodham’s in SE,she was instead in the process of being outbid for the Foxhall Crescent property. The Clintons’ offer of $1.77 million wasbested by $.22 million by Diane Shearin and her husband Bob, a Bethesda pediatrician. Not that money wasnecessarily the issue for the Clintons. According to Nancy Itteilag of Pardoe/Era who represented the Shearins, theproperty was more likely knocked off the short list by President Clinton and his security people for lack of a backdoor.

It now seems that President and Senator Clinton finally have a Washington home to call their own at 3067Whitehaven Street and just in the nick of time, with the closing date having been scheduled for Inauguration Day. Thanksto the cooperative efforts of veteran realtor Terri Robinson of AGS Realty, and Sandy Berger’s wife SusanBerger, of Evers & Company, the Clintons are expected to be comfortably ensconced in the brick Georgian with six bedroomsand seven and a half baths by press time. Mary White of Mary White, Inc. was the agent for the sellers Josephand Lucia Henderson, who had been asking $3.5 million for the home, but agreed to let the Clintons have it for $2.85million. The house which is situated next to the Embassy of New Zealand, and just a stone’s throw from the Vice President’sresidence near the Naval Observatory, has a swimming pool, a two-car garage, and room for Mrs. Clinton’s mother, DorothyRodham.

3067 Whitehaven Street
3067 Whitehaven Street

According to the local rumor mills, the Clintons are not the only Democrats to have spent the past several weekshouse-hunting. New Jersey’s newly-elected multimillionaire Senator Jon Corzine, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, hasbeen functioning amid rampant speculation that he will buy into D.C.’s lucrative real-estate market. Democratic Senator fromNorth Carolina, John Andrews, is also thought to be a potential buyer, so stay tuned for a probable update in nextmonth’s issue.

Meanwhile, former Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, has sold his condominium at 2220 20th Street, NW at TheMendota. The new owner is Phil Gramm’s former campaign manager, Jim Courtovich, who paid $350,000 for thetwo-bed-room, single bath unit in the beaux-arts- style building near Adams Morgan in Kalorama Triangle.

In Kalorama Circle, number 78, the four-story stone and brick house where Simon A. Hershon and Mary Drysdalehave lived since 1980 and 1984 respectively, has been sold in a private sale by a court-appointed trustee. The 1927international-style home with eight bedrooms and six and a half baths, went for $2,100,000. Cathie Gill of Cathie Gill,Inc., served as both the listing and selling agent.

1508 34th Street is now home to newlyweds John and Sarah Villafranco. The bride and groom who are anattorney and doctor respectively, did well to pay $749,000 for the Federal era townhouse, with its enchanting garden andsmashing new kitchen, which originally listed for almost $14,000 more. The Georgetown home had been the residence of DixieAllen, founder of Amazing Space, a professional organizing service. Now, the efficiency expert has herself packed up andreportedly found a new space in Newport Beach, California, leaving the Villafrancos to reside in what one can only assume wasan immaculately maintained home. The selling agent was Nancy Taylor-Bubes of Pardoe/ERA. The listing agents wereHugh Oates, Judy Lewis, and Allison LaLand, all also with Pardoe.

Another of Georgetown’s architectural treasures from the Federal era has become the property of Scott Dreyer and hiswife Clare, who purchased the 125-year-old house at 1671 31st Street for $2,925,000 from Robert Sharpe, aSenior Vice President with a Dulles-based aerospace corporation.

The new owners of the stately home, which features five bedroom suites, eight fireplaces, a media room, and a conservatory,are among the area’s blue-blooded, new-economy barons; millionaires who feathered their beds with fortunes earned with thehigh-tech Virginia-based venture capital company of Friedman, Billings, & Ramsey. Located next to Dumbarton Oaks, the Dreyers’property also boasts its own formal boxwood gardens surrounding an elegant pavilion. The listing agents were JeanneLivingston and Susan Daves of Begg/Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. The selling agent was Joan Gillespie.Clare, and her husband Scott, previously resided at 4821 Dexter Street, NW.

Also on 31st Street, the Victorian showcase which Michael and Ricki Helfer bought while he was Chairman and CEOof the prestigious law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, has sold for $1,225,000. Michael and his wife Ricki,the first female chairman and CEO of the FDIC and senior fellow with the Brookings Institution, have moved with their sonMatthew to Columbus, Ohio. Michael is now the Vice President for corporate strategy for Nationwide. The buyers hail fromBaltimore where they were both art historians at Johns Hopkins University. Now the Mrs. is a director at the SmithsonianInstitution. The listing agent for the wonderfully renovated property at 1336 31st Street in Georgetown’s East village,was Judy Mak of Pardoe/ERA. The selling agent was Ellen Morrell of Washington Fine Properties.

Elsewhere in the District, Donald Sigmund and socialite Debbie Sigmund have let their spectacular Georgian homein Spring Valley go for $1,750,000. The listing agent was Cathie Gill of Cathie Gill, Inc. The new owners tookpossession of the property located at 3715 48th Street in mid-November.

On Woodland Drive, the provincial home of the late Dr. Samuel M. Dodek sold just days before Christmas for $1,195,000.The good doctor who had delivered babies in D.C. for over sixty years, departed this world at age ninety-eight in September of2000. The home he shared with his wife Miriam until her death in 1986, was built in 1928 and listed for sale “as is” bySusan Berger of Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. The selling agent for the 2930 Woodland Drive property was CathieGill of Cathie Gill, Inc.

“Marbella,” the mansion which once belonged to the late Jack Kent Cooke, was sold again last year for $4 million, ortwice what former Ambassador Richard Burt and his presently estranged spouse, Gahl, originally paid for it in1999. On the other hand, Richard and Gahl, who was the White House Social Secretary during the Reagan Administration, wereasking $4.5 million for the Rock Creek Park property with its scenic vistas, security cameras, and formal gated entrance.McGill Terrace Trust scooped up the property with the help of Jane Nacke of Mary White, Inc., who served as boththe listing and selling agent.

Parc Somerset
Parc Somerset

Yet another condominium has sold at the highly sought-after Parc Somerset in Chevy Chase, renowned for pampering its residentswith 24-hour concierge service. A London businessman, sold his unit in the newest building of the luxury complex to a memberof the old-monied Bainum family of Maryland. Stewart Bainum, Jr. of Manor Care Facilities, purchased theless-than-year-old condo in building number three, for $1.7 million with the assistance of Sally Widmayer and NancyItteilag, both of Pardoe/ERA.

Not far away, Long and Foster agents Donna Karpa and Sharon Owens and Pardoe’s Nancy Itteilag arrangedfor the successful transfer of Investment Company Institute’s Julie Domenick’s Avenel home at 4 Towngate Courtin Bethesda, to Dr. and Mrs. Robert Goldman for $750,000. Robert J. and M. A. Sack have sold theirhouse in Montgomery County, at 9919 Carter Road, to CS and Bradford J. Heming for $835,000, and havebought 8801 Clewerwall Drive in Bethesda. While the Sacks didn’t move far, they certainly moved up. For $1,375,000 theyare now the proud owners of a two-acre corner lot which backs onto a lovely wooded area and features beautifully landscapedlawns and a swimming pool with a cabana and spacious patio. The house itself is a dream with every imaginable amenity from anintercom and fire-detection system to walk-in closets and a wet bar. There is a second kitchen in the maid’s quarters, asecond, separate laundry room in the in-law suite, a breakfast room, mud room, storage room, and a huge family room inaddition to the recreation room and formal living room. Indeed, the 87,120-square-foot property is so large and accommodatingthat the sellers, Marvin and Elsie Dekelboum could probably remain on the premises and never impinge on theSacks’ privacy. Instead though, it seems the Dekelboums now intend to live year-round in their home on S. Ocean Blvd. in PalmBeach, Florida where they will oversee the works of the charitable foundation which bears their names. Zelda Heller ofLong & Foster listed the Clewerwall Knoll property for the Dekelboums, and Lois Robins of Long & Foster was the sellingagent.

Across the Potomac in historic Old Town Alexandria, Karen M. Taylor purchased a new home for the list price of just$789,000. Built in 1998 at 229 N. Lee Street, the brick three-story townhouse features floor-to-ceiling windows andglossy hardwood floors. The seller, Patricia M. Murray preferred a fall settlement, thereby allowing Taylor the chanceto enjoy the holidays around the hearth with not one, but two fireplaces to choose from. The deal was brokered by LydiaOdle, Realtor. The listing agent was Jolee Rubin and Brian Murphy was the selling agent.

After almost fifteen years in residence at 1415 N. Pegram Street in the City of Alexandria, John and DebraFarrell have sold their two-story 1986 custom-built home with its cathedral ceilings, skylights, solar paneling, and loftoverlooking the living room. Despite its age, the house has many of the upgrades one might expect to find in anewly-constructed home, including an exercise room, a solarium with a Jacuzzi, a kitchen island, and a master bedroom suitewith sitting room and double bath. As inviting as the interior is, the new owners Leslie P. and L. George Gondorshould enjoy the exterior living space as well, since a tranquil waterfall and pond with a multilevel overhanging deck add tothe allure of the homes wooded acre lot. Indeed, the Gondors got a real deal with the purchase of this 43,560-square-footproperty for a mere $800,000. Patricia Tierney of Long & Foster Old Town was both the listing and selling agent.

In Alexandria’s Fort Hunt area, Frank C. Collins, of the lobbying firm Collins Group International, Inc., whose clientshave included Northrop Grumman and Titan Corporations, is living in the lap of luxury since he and his wife Lillianpurchased a $1.25 million home from John D. and Caroline C. Hopkins. The spectacular property located on acul-de-sac at 9067 Tower House Place offers sensational views of the Potomac from all four opulent levels, and featureshardwood floors and palladium windows.

1305 Ballantrae Farm Drive
1305 Ballantrae Farm Drive

Every bedroom has its own bath, and a brief survey of the home’s many other amenities and accoutrements includes aconservatory, a cedar closet, built-in cherry cabinetry, a finished attic, a brick terrace, and a concrete deck. There is acentral vacuum system so that the maid needn’t drag the Hoover around, an au pair suite to make the live-in nanny feel rightat home, an underground sprinkler system to lessen the gardener’s workload, and a surveillance system which could eliminatethe need for a night watchman all together. The listing agent was Barbara Jenkins of Prudential Carruthers Realtors.The selling agent was Edward Pagett of Pardoe.

Elsewhere in Fairfax County, Paul and Rosemary Hauser have parted with their home at 1803 Watervale Wayin Vienna for $45,000 less than their asking price. The lucky buyers are Robert S. and Suzanne B. Hall who for amere $830,000 have taken possession of a 36,219-square-foot property which includes its own putting green. The majestic stoneand stucco house which was brand new when the Hausers bought it in 1996, also has a gourmet kitchen, five bedrooms, three fullbaths, a large deck, and a double staircase in the entrance hall. While the Hausers may well miss their home in the Full CryFarm area neighborhood, they won’t be crying long. Even at the reduced sale price, they still made a tidy $175,000 profitwhich ought to lessen any parting pangs. The listing agent was Dino Brown with Fox Hunt Realty. The selling agent wasSherri Bittner.

In McLean, the estate belonging to David L. and Patricia I. Burney has been sold for $2,500,000. 1305Ballantrae Farm Drive, with its marble foyer, ten-foot ceilings, seven bedrooms, gorgeous swimming pool, and sweepingcircular drive, is now owned by Virginia attorney George J. Shapiro and his wife Deborah, who works with CiscoSystems. Sue Huckaby, wife of former Louisiana Congressman Thomas Huckaby, represented both parties in thetransaction brokered by Weichert Realtors.

Sue Huckaby was also the listing agent for Dennis Eckart, an attorney with Baker & Hosteller, and his wifeSandra, who have sold their Cape Cod Colonial at 6315 Evermay Drive in McLean for $740,000. The buyers of thebeautiful property which features a pond and waterfall, are Robert C. and Bertha J. Robinson. They wererepresented by Bert Keeter of Weichert.

Also, in McLean, William “Peter” Wylie, Vice President for human resources at General Dynamic and his wifeSharon, are now the proud owners of “Towlewood”, a reproduction of the Jabez Towle House (circa 1843). Built in 1985,the carefully-crafted four-bedroom cedar and brick Colonial sits on just over two and a half acres of woodlands and meadows at8521 Georgetown Pike. The $975,000 home was previously owned by securities investor Paul Rowan. The listingagent was Penny Yerks of Weichert Realtors in McLean.

Weichert’s Penny Yerks also listed the property at 201 River Bend Road in Great Falls for Bowa Builders,Inc. In mid-December, Bowa Builders sold the custom-built property to John and Stephanie Reilly for$1,446,745. Both of the Reillys are employed in the tech industry. John is the former Managing Director of Proxicom andcurrent Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Chelsea Interactive, which works in strategic partnership with Proxicomto deliver e-commerce capabilities to retailers world-wide. Meanwhile, Stephanie works for Micro-Strategy. The five-bedroom,five and two-half baths, stone house sits on a two-acre lot in Little Villa Spring, an easy commute to the Northern Virginiatech corridor.

Also in Great Falls, the 10421 New Ascot Drive property belonging to the former CEO of Bendix Corporation William J.Agee and his second wife, Mary Cunningham Agee, has been sold. The property was built in the late eighties, notlong after the couple became nationally branded as participants in one of the most famous cases of alleged fraternization everto rock corporate America. Today, Mary Cunningham Agee, once the presumed mistress, is better known for her role as founder ofThe Nurturing Network, a nonprofit organization for pregnant women in crisis. Their seven-bedroom house, in the Finger LakeEstates neighborhood, sold at the ask-ing price of $3,500,000. The listing agent was Sue Huckaby of Weichert Realtors.

Do you know which co-owner of one of Sotheby International’s affiliates, Washington Fine Properties, sold his recently-redone,brick, Federal era Georgetown house on N. Street for $1,665,000—$300,000 more than he bought it for last July? The firstcorrect answer received by e-mail will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to Washington Life for you or afriend.

Please e-mail answers and/or any real estate news items to: mary_mewborn@yahoo.com.


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